By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
On the Friday before Memorial Day, May 25, “The City of Patriotism” unveiled a new sign that honors veterans.
Glencoe unveiled a new sign marking Highway 431 in Glencoe as Veterans Memorial Highway.
Glencoe Mayor Charles “Peanut” Gilchrist, City of Glencoe staff and members of Glencoe’s VFW post 10408 attended the unveiling ceremony. Attendees took pride in Glencoe’s penchant for honoring veterans, including Gilchrist, who is a veteran himself.
“I think this sign will be very important to our city,” said VFW Commander Larry Wells. “Glencoe is the city of patriotism. You can see that with the display of our flags. It goes from the unknown soldier and it goes all the way back to two World War I veterans.”
With the help of the state legislature, former governor Bob Riley designated Glencoe as the “City of Patriotism in 2003. Several times a year, including Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veteran’s Day, Glencoe’s VFW post displays nearly 200 flags and crosses in the median of Highway 431. Each flag and cross bears the name of a serviceman and woman from Glencoe who served in the military and fought in World War I, World War II, Vietnam and Korea and have passed away. The patriotic display has been a Glencoe tradition for many years.
“I don’t know how long it’s been this [display] has been going on,” said Gilchrist. “It was going when I came back from Vietnam.”
The flags and crosses are a community project. The crosses are built by students at Glencoe High School.
“We are a close-knit community,” said Gilchrist. “These guys came back from war and gave back to the community.”
The flags are merely a chance for the co-mmunity to give back to its veterans that have given so much.
“That’s what it’s all about: giving back to the veterans and letting people know that we honor our veterans in Glencoe,” said Gilchrist.